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Nokia brings more NFC to America with MTA and Windows Phone

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Monday, November 21, 2011

Time to join the dots, as I pick up on previous stories spotted for Mobile Money Transactions, namely the rise of NFC handest from Finnish manufacturer Nokia and the announcement of a trial of NFC payments on the New York Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA). Tucked away at the bottom of a press release from Nokia’s annual developer and media conference, Nokia World, was the news that Nokia would be supplying the hardware for the trial.

While that event (and all the PR around) is for the new Windows Phone, Nokia’s head of NFC Jeremy Belostock confirmed to NFC World that their more established Symbian handsets would be powering the trial, and pointed out the update to the Nokia 603’s NFC capability to allow NFC enabled SIMS.

The Nokia 603 runs the latest version of the Symbian – Belle – which is getting the plaudits in the press as a mature and well-designed update to the long-running operating system. It’s unlikely that the 603 will see any mass adoption, but as with many NFC trials this will be more about gaining knowledge and understanding best practices rather than gather tens of thousands of users.

What’s more interesting is the comments that Nokia are working with Microsoft to have NFC capability included in the road-map for the next version of the Windows Phone operating system. Given that Nokia launched their first two Windows Phone handsets at the same event, with a US handset due in early 2012, and almost wall to wall advertising in the launch market of the UK, it looks like the NFC ecosystem will have another major smartphone choice to go alongside Android during 2012. And that can only be a good thing.